Posts filed under ‘men of substance’
The days, the weeks, the months go by- my emotional state ebbs and flows sometimes softly and sometimes raging torrents crash upon me. I manage to gear myself for meetings and known triggers. I try avoid the ones I know will reduce me to emotional incontinence. Those times, when I can’t function with the loss of you , when I have no control -see me turned inside out.
I manage to get through the scheduled meetings like a fighter in training I focus on the event, knowing the cost of control will cause a meltdown of me when I finally let go of the damming process.
This past couple of weeks has found the need of people coming together to once again to try to take back a quality of life in this old neighborhood, your old neighborhood. I managed to attend, I purposely geared my mind not think of you, for to have done so would have seen me once again a puddle.
Block Watches even “those” trigger – once again you were there . I opened the flyer sent by the Lorain Neighborhood Watch Council announcing a meeting and yes on the letter head was the logo you designed. I stopped breathing for just a second, I hadn’t expected it you see, although I should have . I was pleased that your work was still being utilized by this place you called home and I am grateful they still think your work worthy.
I remember so vividly your response when you came home that weekend from Cleveland Institute of Art. -
Chris the Police Chief is wanting to form a Block Watch Council of all the block watches and they need a logo- will do “some” for me? -
” Mum am I ever going to get paid for any of these things you have me do?”
No! put it down to community service
“If I was a mechanic would you have me fixing cars for free ?”
Yes! of course if you were a “good” mechanic!
You came up with 4 or 5 logos – a couple I could tell, were a bit hard-hitting and controversial and you said:
don’t worry they won’t choose those – they will choose the generic one
and they did .
As I opened the flyer announcing the latest BW meeting for this old neighborhood how I wished I could call you and say :
Chris I need ……
But instead the one thing I need is you and you are denied me ……………
It was a beautiful cool and sunny morning today as we walked our neighborhood placing flags and ribbons to honor those who have given so much in so many conflicts. We placed the “RED WHITE and BLUE ribbons and I thought not only of the history of the colors but of those that have walked these streets in the decades before in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood . I thought of those that had given all they could give in the name of freedom.
The history of the red white and blue:
The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.
The official meaning of those chosen colors may have been lost in time but they are the colors of freedom and many lives have been cut short so the colors of freedom can fly proudly in our neighborhoods.
Marine Lance Corporal Joseph “Ryan” Giese
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep…….,
Your special place beckons warmth, light and beauty to come once again. The land is sleeping, the trees just stirring, their broken branches have fallen to the earth in the winter winds, dried leaves, so vibrantly green in all their summer hues, now fallen, brown, crumbling , spent, giving back to replenish the earth for another season.
Yet there is life, amongst the sleeping woods, heralding the life which will soon come back to this special place that you so loved. The planting of this early spring life was not part of the natural order of things, anymore more than a parent outliving their child is supposed to be part of the natural order .
The spring bulbs planted in remembrance of you once again push through the bracken , their blossoms yellow with sunshine and green with life reaching up to the warming sun. A reminder we live and remember you and the daffodils nod in agreement they too, will enjoy their brief time in the sunshine but will fade all too quickly.
Since you were taken from us we have been left with despair, doubt, anger, a loss of wonder , hope but with a love for you that continues. Chris, you have also left me with an understanding of a strength, I marveled at you through those awful months , your will to survive, the love you had for your family , how you tried to protect us from your pain and anguish.
I am not as strong as I once thought I was , but you have given me an immunity of sorts.
I have bottomed out in my life, I have no fear of death , I have no fear for myself of terminal disease. I too am spent past worrying about “me”. I live with the most untenable pain every moment of these days but there is a strange sort freedom in this world I now live
I no longer have to tolerate people or situations I don’t want in my life . I can choose now the people I welcome and want in my life , those that give not those that take. I no longer have to tolerate , even for politeness sake , I am not beholden to anyone or anything thing. I can speak my truths without fear of offence or retribution for they can never cause me the depth of pain I live with every day.
Dinners and egg hunts-
all coming together in a “confluence of emotions that beat against my being”.
We no longer celebrate anything the way we used to – all the holidays have changed. However, there is no empty chair at the table in the dining room- all the chairs are now empty on those special occasions. If I cook it is to “take a dish”. I could not bear to go though the rituals of celebration looking at the place at the table where you should be.
Everything has changed- we are all changed- no longer the people we were or will ever be again. You , not being there is not, I hope, too obvious to those who still join us in the celebrations.
Words are inadequate to say how much you are missed and with a longing borne in a silence which shouts its presence in the very depths of my being . Although you aren’t here you, my darling son, have literally become the 500 pound gorilla of grief in the room but we smile, make small talk and pretend all in fine so we can all get through yet another anniversary of days .
The memories of what should have been are as painful as those that were.
and another day and another week passes and yet the future is the past and the present and the missing you encompasses all……..
and so it passes until the next time…………..
As readers interested in Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King will recall I have covered some of the highlights of his career. Charleston Village and Black River Historical Society and the City of Lorain paid him homage in 2011.
I must admit, I had to wonder when researching this man of importance, why it had taken so very long for his birthplace to recognize him as they were even doing away with the high school named after him? I suppose, coming from a country and culture which holds history and heroes of ” cherished importance”, it was a bit of a culture shock arriving in Lorain and seeing the throwaway society of history at its finest.
Even the new builds are only built with a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Thank heavens that wasn’t the case when they built my old house.
We are only all too aware of government not listening to citizens – until it is too late- but government not listening to their own experts such as Admiral King and the warning of Pearl Harbor – well what can one say?
But Admiral Ernest J King did not forget his birthplace and sent the signal mast of the USS Arizona home to Lorain.
The battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) was sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The superstructure above the waterline was removed soon after the attack. Admiral Earnest H. King, Chief of Naval operations, sent the signal mast to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio. Commander Edwin C. Keyes, a close friend of Adm. King commanded that naval armory in Lorain. He had the mast modified and erected at the armory to be used for training purposes. The Navy added the yards (cross pieces). Allen Permach of Lorain Steel Fabricators, made the other modifications including the 36 ft. length added to the bottom of the Arizona’s original 26 ft. mast. The vertical shaft represents the 1177 crewmen who gave their lives on the “Day of Infamy.” The yard stands for all those who served aboard.
So what happened ? Where is the mast ? Was it used as part of the Admiral King Tribute space- this piece of United States history? This remaining part of what is probably the world’s most iconic war memorial the USS Arizona?
NO! you see LORAIN REFUSED THE OFFER - so it was stored for 10 years
The Arizona’s modified signamast mast was used until the armory was razed in 1980. It was offered to the city of Lorain, but was refused. In order to save the mast from destruction, Cdr. Keyes obtained authorization from the Navy for Brenne H. Donofrio, a naval engineer to take possession of it. Nick A. Donofrio, the father of Brenne H. Donofrio was a close friend of Adm. King and Cdr. Keyes, and had been honored by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Navy for having donated several important inventions to the Navy during World War II. The mast
was moved to Brenne H. Donofrio’s property where it was stored for 10 years
Then what ? Even though there are a plethora of Veterans Groups who cherish the memories and valor of their compatriots with ceremonies and memorials this” icon of a day of infamy ” – how did this special symbol of bravery leave this place called Lorain this symbol of “remembrance and reverence” – It seems others recognized its worth but not Lorain.
Robert Manzetti, a retired railroad engineer from Ohio, learned of the mast while visiting his daughter who lived near Lorain. Mr. Manzetti and Dr. Earl L. Field, a professor at Arizona College of the Bible and both residents of Glendale, Arizona formed the U.S.S. Arizona Signal Mast Committee. The Committee purchased the mast, transported it to Arizona and erected it here in Wesley Bolin Plaza. It was dedicated and donated to the State of Arizona on December 7, 1990. All funds and work on the mast came from private donations.
AHHHHHHHHHH Lorain words fail me – vision does not mean ‘HINDSIGHT”!!!
There were two Mayors in the time frame of 1980 -
January, 1972 -January 1980 -Joseph J. Zahorec
January, 1980 -January 1984 -William Parker
and in 1990 when the mast left Lorain
January, 1985-January 1996- Alex M. Olejko
And one has to wonder where was Lorain’s favourite Veteran – Jack LaVriha- what were they thinking?
LaVriha had been president of the Lorain Memorial Association for over 5o years, sponsoring annual Lorain Memorial Day parades, annual Community Memorial Services at the Lorain Palace Civic Center, memorial outdoor services at four area cemeteries and the placing of American flags on the graves of veterans. He was past president of the Lorain Veteran�s Council, serving as its secretary for 22 years. He spearheaded the placing of granite monuments at Veterans Memorial Park and area cemeteries in memory of all Lorain men and women who died in all American wars.
You can find the information of the USS Arizona’s Mast here:
Thanks to Lisa Miller - Lorain 365 for the link and initial information
There will be much written about December 7th as the people of the United States remember ” a day which will live in infamy”.
It was because of the attack on Pearl Harbor Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J. King was recalled to Washington:
“On 30 December 1941 he became Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet. On 18 March 1942, he was appointed Chief of Naval Operations, relieving Admiral Stark. He is the only person to hold this combined command”
In 1938 Admiral Ernest J King “warned” the government of the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor
“Among his accomplishments was to corroborate Admiral Harry E. Yarnell’s 1932 war game findings in 1938 by staging his own successful simulated naval air raid on Pearl Harbor, showing that the base was dangerously vulnerable to aerial attack, although he was taken no more seriously than his contemporary until Dec. 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the base by air for real.
One has to wonder how if this son of Lorain had been listened to in 1938 if things would have been different and December 7th would not be in the history books as the “day of infamy”………
Admiral King Tribute Site- Lorain Ohio-
More On Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King here:
Thanks to Joe Bock from Lorain City Schools Channel 20 who uploaded to You tube
UPDATE: further coverage on the LCS Channel 20 and from their face book page
The sun warmed the earth and air the young people of Lorain High School Marching Band and the Lorain High JROTC, the representatives from the United States Marine Corps, The United States Army, Unites States Air force, the United States Navy warmed hearts. It was a morning of tribute to the young by the young as they stood proudly honoring the young men who gave their lives- the ultimate sacrifice.
The coverage for the dedication can be found in the following links . The area media also has to have our heart-felt thanks, their coverage of the project as it progressed reached out and their readers sent in donations. Without such generosity the project would have been “less”.
This is phase one of the walkway more to come.
In the meantime please view the videos of the morning taken by Mark Teleha of Lorain County Photographers Blog
Photos by Lisa Miller on the Lorain 365 Blog ( one of the Morning Journal Media Bloggers)also on her blog Busters House
The thoughts and photos of Dan Brady- who designed the Commemorative Booklet – of Brady’s Bunch of Lorain County Nostalgia
Heroes Walk memorial trail dedicated on Veterans Day filed by Evan Goodenow –
“They share pain from a loss that will never go away and belong to a club that no one wants to be part of.”
Morning Journal Photo Jason Henery
Heroes Walk: Pathway dedicated to fallen soldiers by Jason Henery
I’m going to donate my time to make it nice,” Torres said of the park. “I’m glad for my city to appreciate the sacrifice my son made.”
As always click on photos to enlarge and thank you everyone who made this dedication memorable –
Eric Barnes’ – Heroes Walk
A lot of dirt has been moved, beds have been prepared, tons of recycled crushed concrete placed and rolled and placed again and concrete pads laid in the past few weeks. Please bear in mind this is a donation and volunteer driven project.
We are very lucky our project coincided with the fact the City of Lorain and Lorain Utilities Dept. had to take the area where the “sludge bags had been stored ” and re-do the parking area and grassy area.
Charleston Village Society, along with our sister organizations Black River Historical Society and Lorain Growth Corporation were able to piggy back onto their project and as they designed and re graded the property to cut a path way through the trees joining Settlers’ Watch and the Admiral King Tribute space.
Please see video and article in the Morning Journal by Jessica James
So. where are we now?
Thanks to the generosity of Lorain City Schools donating the two granite benches , from the soon to be torn down Admiral King High School, we are able to honor the two graduates of Lorain City Schools with a bench each -
Army 1st Sgt Bruce Horner ( Admiral King High School)
and Marine Lance Corporal David Hall ( Southview High School).
Each Tribute garden space will include a piece of hardscape art work- loosley based on a maritime theme
The hardscape pieces will be set in blue glass mulch and white limestone to tie in with the anchor center piece at Admiral King Tribute Space
At each entrance way ( Settlers Watch and Admiral King Tribute Space will be a sign – Eric Barnes’- Heroes Walk - the sign will be cutwork and have a 3 dimensional look- the colours are navy blue, silver and white incorporating the anchor from the Admiral King Tribute Site and the Eric Barnes Eagle from Settlers’ Watch. – smaller versions of the signs will be placed at each tribute garden with the name of the fallen hero and information pertaining to each son of Lorain
There are a great many other aspects to the walk- it will still be a work in progress until next summer. However we would like to invite everyone to the dedication of the walk way on Sunday November 11th and 11 am. 2012. 1st and Oberlin- Lorain Ohio
As always any donations goes 100 percent to the project – Should you wish to donate or help out in any way you can send your check to
Charleston Village Society Inc- 1127 W 4th Street, Lorain Ohio 44052 ( mark Heroes Walk on the memo portion) – should you wish to volunteer time , plants, ideas please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 440-246-6046
THE MAGIC – LOST
Three years ago, I wrote of the dedication of Settlers’ Watch. You, my son, had designed the invitations and the commemorative booklet for me – it was the last graphic design project you did- but you weren’t at the ceremony- you weren’t feeling so well and needed to rest. I thought, at the time, it was the aftermath of all the chemo and stem cell transplants catching up with you. There were other mothers there that day some in hope – some in grief – some just plain worried for their sons already born and waiting to be born:
August 3rd 2009
There is a bond between a mother and her child and that of a son that I defy anyone to dismiss lightly. Just like a father and daughter hold that precious relationship dear there is something about a mother and her son. I can’t explain it – I can’t tell you what it is but a mother knows just how her “sister” is feeling when another of her ilk is grieving, worrying , scared and also proud of her son, no matter his age……….During the ceremony at Settlers’ Watch on Saturday there was a group of mothers linked by that little greenspace- a sub story to that of the day – we have held our collective breath and recognized each others pain, worry and tears – these mothers of sons.
Two more mothers from that day now grieve for the loss of a son. Just like the flowers returning every spring on that little patch of green so does our grief, lying fallow for just a few moments as time passes only to push its way through earth of life to the surface to bloom once again- a flower of grief fed by undying love, watered by a mother’s tears – happiness thwarted by loss of our sons.
( Celtic Knot -symbolises the infinite complexity of interconnected forces of life, and the Celtic belief that creation has no beginning or end.)
The very special magic, that was you ,has been denied the world and it has also left a void that none can fill in my heart and essence. An echo of your laughter reverberates through my mind, a phrase, a word still lingers , your artwork still speaks everyday , and everyday I find more and more memories of magic as I continue my journey in search of you.
The Otherworld: Where spirits, gods and goddesses live.
The Mortal World: Where we who are left live along with plants and animals.
The Celestial World: Where unseen energies live and move about. Like the forces of sun, moon, wind and water.)
Three – and the symbolism of three
The number 3 means so many things to so many people all over the world, they live by their religious beliefs founded upon three- but three to me has become the icon of losing the magic that was my son…………………. December 3 rd ………
Life is eternal and love is immortal; And death is only a horizon, And a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. – Rossiter W. Raymond
Tracking back into the history of the Wurmser House
and how could an “old/new model???? come to be on the site
turned up a couple of situations where those of previous generations – did not throw away the structures but simply moved them around the city.
I wrote about the traveling 1st parsonage- traveling down the hill to the hollow where it still stands today,
and the odyssey of the little traveling church that went from street to street at least 5 times that ended up as possibly Lorain’s first duplex. I have ranted and raved about these old homes of historical worth- such as Mayor King’s House that went from historical to bad to worse to worthless????
Let us look at another traveling house another which held “another King” and his family- this time it did have the famous Admiral Ernest J. King connection.
This was the Methodists parsonage number 2. pictured here -in 1892 as the community laid the cornerstone for the new church now 6th and Reid.
Apparently Reverend Frank J Smith writes in the Green Book (???) :
that this house was on the property he purchased for a church site and it had been moved east , $35.00 raised and a foundation put under it $85.00 also an addition put on $211.00…”we paid for the new ( to us) parsonage and church site and had $187.00 left to apply on the new church”
The house had been the property of Admiral Ernest J King’s father , James King and had its share of sunshine until the church was built so close to it. It lost its glamor, if it had any , and I fear became a sort of stepchild. Probably it kept warm though with so much protection. Therefore less coal for heating and you know how some of the brothers ( monks?) would look at that situation.
The pastors families couldn’t have been too happy in it. No outlook but a cold brick wall on one side and the neighbor’s house too close on the other side. I wonder if the rain on that steep church roof didn’t spatter the parsonage windows . Form 1892 to 1906 seven different pastors and their families resided there. Finally the Official Board decided that we must have something better . There had been much sickness in the old house because of lack of sunshine and the presence of much dampness.
The house was sold and moved off the lot. Mrs. Margaret King Hurst , a cousin of Admiral King’s says the house was moved to “Hoganville” ( the long ago name for that portion of Lorain west of Oberlin Ave. and was placed on the Northeast corner of Brownell and Chestnut ( now 7th ) Street . Sometime later it was enlarged and modernized and is now serving as a two family house. What long ago interesting stories some old houses could tell……………
And as the writer of the history of the Methodist Church in Lorain wrote those many years ago
What long ago interesting stories some old houses could tell……………
Trouble is no one is listening to them – they are non- entities in this city their stories silenced with decay and abandonment – discarded when they can no longer give of themselves……… their stories ….. just so many blog posts on an inconsequential blog from Lorain (e)